17-year-old Jim Pope has ticked his hardest route to date, Kaabah (8c+) 8c+ at Raven Tor (Miller's Dale), Derbyshire. Having ticked Mecca 8b+ at the age of 15 and Mecca Extension 8c at 16, Steve McClure's Kaabah - the direct extension to Mecca - seemed like a logical next step.
A couple of redpoints in the blinding sun on Saturday saw Jim fall from a highpoint on the last hard move. Dubious weather on Sunday morning made a successful redpoint seem unlikely, but fortunately conditions improved for sticking the final hard move and clipping the chains. Jim told UKC:
'I didn't intend to climb it in the sun, I set off in the shade, then the route came into the sun when I had my best attempt on Saturday and the same thing actually happened on the successful attempt, but I tried a bit harder!'
'I wanted to try Kaabah because I already knew Mecca well and liked the length of the route and the crux at the top is really crimpy and technical, which suits me.'
Jim first tried the line with Yann Genoux earlier this year and had one go working the moves. This weekend, Jim had two redpoint attempts on Saturday and did it on his second redpoint on Sunday, taking just four attempts in total.
The reigning British Lead Climbing Champion, Jim is based in London but makes regular trips up to the Peak. Next on his list at Raven Tor is Evolution 8c+ and Hubble 9a, along with Rainshadow 9a at Malham Cove, but for now he will be focussing on training until the World Youth Championships in November.
Watch a video of Jim on Kaabah below: